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Like many people, I've become slightly obsessed with TikTok. I can waste hours swiping through countless 15-second videos that range from genuinely hilarious to completely bizarre.
Though I typically expect to get a few laughs while scrolling, I never expect to find anything remotely helpful or informative. That all changed when I came across this slightly terrifying-looking face mask that's currently going viral on the app. It became especially popular after user Kaelyn White shared a video of her skin's impressive before and after transformation.
She attributes her clear skin to The Ordinary's AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution, which just so happens to be an eye-catching shade of red. Her TikTok has been favorited over 600,000 times and the product has become one of the internet's latest beauty curiosities. And did I mention it's less than $8? I had to get my hands on this.
I reached out to dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, who told me the ingredients are perfect for anyone looking to revive their skin's appearance.
"The chemical exfoliating solution is a great option for those looking to improve the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, pores, dullness and texture," Garshick told us. "Containing different hydroxy acids, including glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid, it helps to address various skin care concerns."
According to Garshick, the lactic and glycolic acids have anti-aging benefits thanks to their ability to stimulate collagen production, while salicylic acid helps to unclog pores and fight acne.
Knowing that the ingredients had the expert seal of approval, I purchased a bottle and treated myself to some self-care. When I first applied the product, I was shocked by how red it appeared in person. It's essentially the color of blood. In fact, it immediately reminded me of Kim Kardashian West's infamous "vampire facial."
I smoothed a generous amount over my face and immediately noticed a slight tingling sensation. I was nervous it would eventually be too strong, but the feeling went away after about 30 seconds. After calming down from the initial scare, I let the mask sit on my skin for eight minutes. The bottle advises not to leave the solution on for longer than 10 minutes, so I wanted to give my sensitive skin a two-minute buffer.
Once the eight minutes were up, I was surprised by how easy it was to rinse off. My face was completely clear of the mask after just a few splashes of water.
Then I lightly dried my face and looked at the results. I was pretty stunned. My skin looked immediately brighter, plumper and just generally refreshed. I felt like I could see some slight improvement in the texture around my nose, and it even seemed like some of the redness under my eyes had been reduced. Most surprisingly of all, I experienced absolutely no irritation anywhere on my face. I've used the treatment three times since, and I've been incredibly happy with how smooth and clear my skin has been this month.
That being said, the initial tingling sensation is proof that this stuff is pretty potent. Garshick recommended starting with only using it once a week if you have sensitive skin, and I definitely suggest following her advice. But in my opinion, it's worth the extra caution because of the immediate results this magical formula provides.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to apply my weekly treatment of The Ordinary's Peeling Solution and try not to get distracted by TikTok.
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